NSH Gallery Hosts “Curators Holiday” Exhibit

Four Corvallis art gallery curators are stepping out from behind the scenes to display their own artwork in an exhibit in the North Santiam Hall Galleries on the Linn-Benton Community College Albany campus, 6500 Pacific Blvd SW, from March 7 to April 15.

“Curators’ Holiday” features the work of Hester Coucke, curator of the Corvallis Arts Center; Shelley Curtis, director of the Art About Agriculture collection at Oregon State University; Tina Green-Price, curator of the Giustina Gallery at OSU’s LaSells Stewart Center; and Douglas Russell, director of OSU’s Fairbanks Gallery.

A reception and gallery talk featuring all four artist/curators will be held on Thursday, April 7 from 2 to 3 p.m.

Hester Coucke, who was born and educated in the arts in The Netherlands, is showing a collection of recent work, including collage, oil pastel, pen-and-ink drawings, and “drawings in twigs.” She calls her position at the Corvallis Arts Center, which she has held since 1995, her “dream job” because it combines her interests in both the hands-on and the academic approach to art.

“I get to work with a fantastic group of volunteers; the Exhibition Committee, and with them design the exhibits that we present to the Corvallis community,” she said.

Shelley Curtis, who has directed the Art About Agriculture collection at OSU since 1999, is showing a portfolio of photographs chronicling the dismantling of the landmark Amity seed mill a few years ago.

“Memories, and histories created from them, fascinate me and spark my creativity,” she said. “My photographs are built upon imagination and time-based records of fixed moments that persist in an environment of change.”

Besides photography, Curtis also works in collage, assemblage and drawing. She exhibits her art nationally and is represented by the Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery.

Tina Green-Price has been organizing exhibits at the LaSells Stewart Center since 2004, and before that managed a performing arts center at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, where she was also active in the local arts community. She is exhibiting a collection of black-and-white images in etching, lithography and charcoal.

“I love working without color,” she said. “It brings me back to the basic raw forms and allows me to be responsive in my drawings.”

Russell is a senior faculty research assistant in the OSU Department of Art and has curated hundreds exhibits at OSU over the past 30 years, including many shows of internationally recognized artists.

Despite a heavy workload directing the gallery and curating the Art Department’s collection, Russell continues to pursue his personal art in oil, pastel and charcoal media. The NSH exhibit features some of his oil paintings in which he explores a variety of subject matter, from landscape to color field and artifact painting.

“I know of numerous wonderful gallery directors who abandoned their artwork because of the demands of the workplace,” Russell said. “It has been a struggle for me at times as well. But in recent years I have found increasing time to dedicate to my studio and to my plein air painting, regaining my fine art discipline, and supporting my identity as an artist.”

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